UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, on Tuesday, called the situation in Libya a ‘scandal’ even after his envoy cited a genuine will for peace by rival military forces, international media reported. This comes after military commander Khalifa Haftar and Prime Minister Fayez al-Sarraj plan their first meeting to secure a lasting ceasefire.
While attending a press conference in New York, Guterres said that he was deeply frustrated with everything that was happening in Libya. He also lashed out the countries which met in Berlin last month to push for Libyan peace talks.
Speaking at the UN headquarters in New York, he added that all those nations earlier committed that they would neither interfere in the Libyan process nor send weapons or participate in the fightings. He further said that the truth was that the security council arms embargo remains to violated in the area before saying that UN mediations efforts by his Envoy Ghassan Salame was the ‘only good news’ there.
Salame who is the U.N.'s special representative for Libya said he hopes cease-fire talks that officially began on February 4 between the country's warring sides will reach a deal that can convince foreign powers to stop pouring in weapons and breaking an international arms embargo. Ghassan Salame, the head of the United Nations support mission in Libya, lamented how the embargo has been "incessantly" violated since the fall of longtime autocrat Moammar Gadhafi in 2011 and said an international conference in Berlin last month sought to renew respect for it.
The weak U.N.-recognised administration holds the capital Tripoli and parts of the country's west. Led by Prime Minister Fayez Sarraj, it's backed by Turkey and to a lesser degree Qatar and Italy. On the other side of the civil war is Gen. Khalifa Hifter, based in the country's east. His forces have been fighting to capture the capital for months, and are backed by the United Arab Emirates and Egypt as well as France and Russia.
With inputs from agencies